50 Little Luxuries That Cheer Us Up (& Lots Of Them Are Free)

Photo: Alexandra Gorn
Self care was one of 2017's biggest buzzwords and the concept shows no sign of abating this year. While legitimate criticism has been made of the "trend", including that it's become too commercialised, the basic principle of taking time out to look after your mental and physical health is a good one – and it doesn't have to mean spending money.
A new survey of 2,000 British people has revealed our top 50 "little luxuries" and a large proportion of them are either free, cheap or pretty easily achievable. Our favourite way to indulge? Climbing into our beds with freshly laundered bedlinen came out on top, followed by taking time to read a good book, getting a takeaway and having a long soak in the bath.
A cosy night in, watching the sunrise or sunset, a lunch date with a friend and being made a cup of tea or coffee were some of the other inexpensive "luxuries" in the top 10. All of which were considered more popular than enjoying a glass of champagne, upgrading to premium seats at the cinema or being invited to corporate hospitality.
The slightly more extravagant treats of a new haircut and a short break in a hotel or B&B were also towards the top of the list, according to the survey, commissioned by Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
A surprising number of life's more banal conveniences also made the cut, with keeping an empty seat beside you and finding a plug socket on public transport both featuring in the top 50, along with skipping the ads on YouTube videos, unexpectedly getting 4G coverage and leaving work half an hour early.
The research also noted some interesting differences in how men and women like to treat themselves, with women most likely to choose a trip to the theatre, receiving a fresh bouquet of flowers and catching up with friends over lunch, while men preferred a quiet night in, an extra shot in their coffee and catching their favourite film on TV.
Now that we come to think of it, these little wins really can turn a bad day around; and we'd like to add "cancelling plans" to the list.

The top 50 "little luxuries"

1. Freshly laundered bed linen
2. Time to read a good book
3. Getting a takeaway
4. Having a long soak in the bath
5. A fresh haircut
6. A cosy night in
7. A short break in a hotel or B&B
8. Watching the sunset/sunrise
9. A lunch date with a friend
10. When someone makes you a nice cup of tea/coffee
11. Receiving a bouquet flowers
12. Five minutes to yourself
13. Luxury quilted toilet paper
14. Catching your favourite film on TV
15. A glass of champagne
16. Getting your car valeted
17. Buying fresh artisan bread
18. Using a premium perfume/cologne/fragrance
19. Having a manicure
20. Going to the theatre
21. Receiving breakfast in bed
22. Enjoying a fine wine/whiskey
23. Buying tickets to a concert
24. Buying yourself flowers
25. Leaving work half-an-hour early
26. Receiving a hand-written letter
27. Keeping an empty seat beside you on public transport
28. Getting tickets to a sporting event
29. A picnic
30. Buying new makeup
31. Paying for someone to clean your home
32. Hitting the snooze button
33. Applying a facemask
34. Ordering the most extravagant dessert on the menu
35. When the clocks go back
36. Hearing your favourite song on the radio
37. Having a blow-dry
38. Finding a plug socket on public transport
39. A lazy bike ride
40. Ordering the most expensive main course on the menu
41. Skipping the ads on YouTube videos
42. Splashing out on expensive toiletries
43. Spending time away from your phone
44. Buying a new candle
45. Reading a magazine
46. Getting a ride in a sports car
47. An extra shot in your coffee
48. Upgrading to premium seats at the cinema
49. Being invited to corporate hospitality
50. Getting 4G coverage unexpectedly
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